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6 Elements of Great Communication with Dianna Booher – Episode 203 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Diana_Booher

Dianna Booher is the bestselling author of 47 books, published in 60 foreign-language editions, with nearly 4 million copies sold. Her personal development topics include leadership communication, executive presence, writing, and life balance. Her most popular titles include:

  • Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader
    • What MORE Can I Say? Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It
    • Communicate With Confidence: How to Say It Right, the First Time and Every Time
    • Speak With Confidence: Powerful Presentations That Inspire, Inform, and Persuade
  • Communicate Like A Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done

National media such as Good Morning America, USATodayThe Wall Street JournalInvestor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg, Forbes.com, FOX, CNN, NPR, Success, FastCompany.com, and Entrepreneur have interviewed her for opinions on critical workplace communication issues.

Keynotes, consulting, and training clients include IBM, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, PepsiCo, Novartis, Honeywell, Merrill Lynch, Department of the Navy, and NASA, just to name a few.

She has been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association. Success Magazine has named her to its list of “21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century.” She also appears at #54 on the Richtopia “Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World” list (2017).

Show Highlights:

A leader improves the situation beyond what it was when they took over. @diannabooher

A Leader improves the status quo. @diannabooher

People micromanage because of fear and misunderstanding. @diannabooher

Micromanaging is a sign that a leader hasn’t developed the necessary strategic perspective. @diannabooher

Leaders need to think strategically about the long-term effect of their actions. @diannabooher

The one question every leader must answer correctly: “What are you working on?” @diannabooher

On social media: have a strategy, choose your channels, be consistent and engage. @diannabooher

People have to take responsibility for their own career development. @diannabooher

Fire people to be fair. @diannabooher

Great communication must be clear. @rory_vaden

Great communication must be concise. @rory_vaden

Great communication is consistent. @rory_vaden

Great communication is strategic. @rory_vaden

Great communication is always straight forward. @rory_vaden

Great communication is servant minded. @rory_vaden

Learn more about Dianna and check out her book by visiting: communicatelikealeaderbook.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Meet the New Southwestern Consulting

Over the years, we’ve learned from customers that there is a specific reason why they choose to do business with us instead of our competitors. They’ve helped us understand that while we do help them grow revenues, increase sales, recruit and build sales forces, and help them achieve their goals-there is also something else inherently unique and different about our team and culture that makes them work with us.

They said that it’s because:

We don’t just teach people how to sell more; we teach people how to sell better.

We teach people a different way of selling.

We teach salespeople how to sell ethically, honestly, and without shortcuts.

We teach salespeople how to be better listeners, not just better talkers.

We teach salespeople how to be more service-minded, not just better closers.

We teach salespeople how to take pressure off of people, not put more pressure on them.

It’s true.

We teach people and businesses how to sell more. It’s the core of what we do.

But we also care just as much about teaching them to do it the right way. This is because we want to help the world think about selling as one of the most honorable professions there is, and not just think of it as a job.

We love sales.

We love salespeople.

We are salespeople.

And like you, we believe there is a higher purpose you can serve by being in sales, which is why we are happy to share with you and announce the core essence of our rebrand.

You will see this new mantra integrated throughout our brand new website, videos, social media presence, and all of our updated marketing collateral.

We don’t just teach you how to grow your revenues or increase your income; we help you:

ELEVATE SALES.

P.S. – Thanks to all our customers and fans for all your love and support throughout the years! We hope you’ll take pride in being part of this new brand that we’ve created for you. Check out our new website at southwesternconsulting.com.

Become Successful Faster

Become successful faster

“How do I become successful faster?”

It’s a common question people have. Especially if they’re just starting out in a new industry or pursuing a new dream.

The intention behind the question is usually very pure and humble and coachable.

But the answer is more simple than most people want to hear and so it sometimes gets overlooked.

For years I’ve wondered if this truth transcended across multiple industries and different professions.

Now via Southwestern Consulting having worked with more than 8,000 teams in 40 different countries, I’m convinced that it is.

The way to become successful faster is to master the fundamentals sooner.

That’s it.

That’s really all there is.

See, when we’re first learning something, we are enamored by the excitement of it all and we want to believe there is some secret.

We hope there is a magic trick that we need to discover.

Sometimes we even idolize industry legends thinking that they must have a set of strategies that are only shared among elite secret circles.

But that’s not how it is.

Really.

The reality is that almost every job, dream, business, or venture has a handful of fundamentals.

These fundamentals can usually be explained in a matter of minutes.

But they usually take a matter of years to master.

You have to master the fundamentals.

You have to be brilliant at the basics.

You have to be committed to the critical success factors.

Sometimes new people wish there was more to it and so they waste time looking for the shortcut.

And sometimes experienced people forget how critical the fundamentals are and they get lured by the “shininess” of chasing something new. Often only to lose valuable momentum and later end up having to be humbled back to the basics.

The shortest path to success is to master the fundamentals sooner.

Even if you’re not convinced that it is; do it anyways and then once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, then you can worry about innovating and experimenting.

But the longer you wait to embrace the fundamentals…

The more you spend time looking for the easy way…

The deeper you become convicted that there is a shortcut…

The longer it will ultimately take you to become successful.

As Zig Ziglar used to say, there is no shortcut to success; you have to take the stairs.

How to Never be Tired Again

tired

How often do you say “I’m so tired!”?

Or how often do you hear other people say it?

 

True legitimate fatigue can be dangerous and destructive to businesses, teams, relationships, and certainly our physical health.

So I’m a fan of and a big believer in sleep.

And I consider it an important matter of self-discipline to consistently pursue a full night’s rest.

With a newborn- that has been an especially fun challenge in recent times. 🙂

But there is a big difference between not getting enough sleep and being tired.

 

Discouragement and distraction can even masquerade in our lives as “being tired,” serving as a justifiable excuse for the self sabotaging behavior of us not taking action.

This past weekend, I was in Napa with my wife’s personal Southwestern Consulting coaching organization called Dream Team.

I was sitting next to one of our amazing coaches, Angie Moss ,who recently adopted her twin grandkids and moved into a new house.

Yet in spite of reliving the early parenting years that she’s already been through before, she continues to be one of our top coaches in terms of production, client satisfaction, and especially attitude.

I asked her how she does it and she said:

“I never allow myself to say ‘I’m tired.’ I’ve figured out that the amount of energy I have is more about what I decide to be true than it is the byproduct of anything else. I can say ‘I’m sleepy’ because that may be true. But I do not allow myself to ever say ‘I’m tired’ because usually that is just my brain trying to talk me out of doing work that needs to be done. I find that if I tell myself ‘I’m tired’ then I act tired. But if I tell myself ‘I’m energized’ then somehow the energy is always there.”

Powerful!

And such an important insight.

What Angie was commenting on is actually a natural part of the neuroscience of our brain.

The human brain isn’t programmed for success; it’s programmed for survival.

And survival is all about conserving energy.

So your brain is designed to govern you in a way that conserves your short term energy.

And delivering the signal throughout your body of ‘I’m tired’ is one of its primary mechanisms for doing that.

In that way, ‘I’m tired’ is much more often a defense mechanism for a lazy mind than it is a biological truth about the human body.

Which reminds me of something that Navy Seal Joe once said to me and AJ, “the human body can take damn near anything; it’s the mind that needs conditioning.”

He was explaining that in the context of how in BUDS training, the Navy Seals complete superhuman physical challenges despite operating on extraordinary sleep deprivation.

I remember Navy Seal Joe also mentioning something along the lines of “when your body says ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I quit’ or ‘I physically can’t take anymore’, it’s at that moment that you’ve reached about 10% of what your body is truly capable of.”

Why does your mind tell you to quit so long before you really are at your max?

Simple.

Because your mind is trained to do one thing: conserve energy.

But success requires expending energy, making difficult decisions and taking action.

Success requires the intention of new choices, new behaviors, and new habits.

Success requires re-establishing new mental boundaries for what we’re capable of that are far beyond our initial expectations.

Success requires us rising above challenges, overcoming obstacles and destroying our own self-limiting governors that are designed to simply keep us comfortable.

Perhaps one of the greatest self-limiters of all, is the quiet indulgence of “I’m tired.”

How Busy People Can Still Be Bloggers (My 4 Part Writing Process)

 bloggers

Writing is certainly not for everyone.

Writing takes more than skill; it takes commitment.

Interestingly enough, I never grew up caring about or even liking writing. And I never once imagined I would grow up to become a writer and have it be such an important part of my life and business.

But I’ve fallen in love with writing for a few reasons

– It helps me sharpen my own thinking about lessons I’m learning and concepts I’m wrestling with.

– It gives me a historical archive of questions I’ve answered and it documents much of what our team at Southwestern Consulting and me, stand for and believe in.

– It is a routine that forces regular self-reflection and self-improvement.

– It is a skill that has come in handy as critical in a variety of different areas of our business.

– It is a platform that multiplies my time because it requires the same amount of work regardless of if ten people are reading it or 10,000 people are which helps us reach more people.

But another benefit I didn’t realize until recently is that it is also a discipline that helps keep me on schedule.

I find that people tend to think writing must take a massive amount of time but it really doesn’t. For me, writing is much more about consistency than intensity. (My exercise strategy actually follows that same principle.)

And while I wouldn’t recommend writing as the best short term revenue producing activity for most businesses, it does add a tremendous amount of value in a multitude of ways over the long term.

If you’ve ever wanted to write but don’t think you have enough time, maybe you can try some of these habits I’ve developed as part of my own process:

 

1.Capture the Idea – The hardest part of writing is usually getting started, but you can neutralize that challenge by just keeping a list of things to write about as you have the ideas but then you wait to actually do the writing until you have the time.I keep my list of topics on my notepad in my cell phone. And almost every blog starts as a topic that comes from one of these places:

– A question that someone asks me that I’m going to answer anonymously and publicly (this very article is an example of that)

– A new lesson that I’ve learned that I want to clarify and remember for myself

– Reinforcing a timeless principle I’ve learned from Southwestern Company culture or some other trusted source of truth, or

– Sharing a piece of advice that I would want to give to someone in my life or want to make available to people (like my newborn son) at some point in the future.

One caveat is that if you get into an intense personal situation or experience in your life it’s usually best to not write about those – at least not right away. It’s best to let those situations incubate and allow some time to pass for reflection so you don’t say something out of emotion that you’ll regret later. Plus, time often changes your perspective and shapes what you want to say.

 

2.Restrict Your Focus – Another major hurdle people struggle with when it comes to writing is that they have so much to say about something that they don’t know where to get started. And then like I used to, they sometimes end up with with a large unorganized blob of disconnected mess.

Combat that indulgence by forcing yourself to focus on only one idea with each blog or article. Answer only one question. Give only one piece of advice. Share only one concept. Have only one central message. Where you get into trouble is by trying to fit too much in and not knowing where to draw the line.

I first learned this lesson in speaking during my journey to the Toastmasters World Championships when one of my mentors said, “Most speakers take a 9 minute speech and try to squeeze it into 7 minutes (the max time allowed in the contest). The winners take a 4 minute speech and deliver it in 6.”

 

3.Block Your Time – Like so many things, we just need to find a spot in our calendar to make time for it. Do I write in the middle of the day during prime business generating hours? No.

For me, I write about 95% of my articles during one time only: during take off and landing on airplanes. It’s the one time I’m not allowed to have my computer in front me and I’m also disconnected from wifi; so I’ve found that writing is one of the most maximizing ways to use that time.

And it’s about 12 minutes up and 12 minutes down which is exactly the perfect amount of time it should take to write one article on one topic and do a light proofread.

 

4.Build Your Business – As I mentioned earlier, writing is not the strategy I would suggest for short term business growth; it is a slow long term strategy that can pay dividends but usually only over a long period of time.

That said, content marketing can still be a very useful  tool to a business. While it will never outperform the short term efficiency of picking up the phone and talking to someone about your business ie sales, it can sometimes help you build a broad reputation of trust with a large number of people if you do it well and consistently for a very long period of time.

So make sure you have a strategy for using your writing to capture leads and generate interest for your business that you can follow up with. In fact one of the best things you can do is brainstorm a list of every question your perfect prospect might have and answer them one at a time. After enough time they’ll realize they need to talk to you more!

 

So don’t buy into the excuse that you don’t have time to write.

It’s no different than making the time to work out a couple times a week, review your goals, recite your affirmations, read the Bible, or any number of other positive habits that take a little bit of time consistently and regularly.

It doesn’t take that long.

What it takes is a decision and a commitment.

In fact “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy” is almost never the truth about why people don’t create positive habits.

The truth is that you just need to find a way to efficiently fit in the things that are important to you.

It can be done and it doesn’t have to take a long time or be complicated.

So if it is your desire, write on my friend.

Write on.

 

One Negative Habit That is Keeping You Stuck

stuck

There is one consistent negative habit of people who remain stuck at their current level of performance.

There is one common trait of people who never break through to the next level.

It’s that they don’t measure their progress.

They don’t track their performance.

This one error in judgement can singlehandedly account for the failure of many people to grow because they never know where they stand.

And because they never know where they stand they can’t make the necessary adjustments along the way as needed to their strategy to produce actual results.

If you’re going to create a transformation in your life you have to measure your progress.

If you want to lose weight don’t be afraid of the scale or of counting your calories.

If you want to grow sales don’t be afraid of tracking your daily activity or of reviewing your sales pipeline.

If you want to get out of debt don’t be afraid of looking at your bank statement or financial records.

You have to know where you stand.

Sure it might be painful at first but you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Successful people measure. They know their ratios. They know where they are compared to their goals and they adjust accordingly.

In fact if you want to get in better shape, the daily habit of getting on a scale will in and of itself can be the first step of moving you in the right direction.

If you want to increase your sales, the daily habit of recording your activity will in and of itself can be the first step of moving you in the right direction.

If you want to become debt free, the weekly habit of balancing your checkbook will in and of itself can be the first step of moving you in the right direction.

If you aren’t measuring something, then you’re simply “hoping” it will workout.

Hope is a good thing.

Hope is a necessary thing.

But hope isn’t a strategy.

Measurement is a strategy.

Management is a strategy.

Interpreting and adjusting is a strategy.

So whatever it is that you’re doing…

Whatever it is that you’re pursuing…

Whatever it is that you’re transforming…

Don’t be afraid to measure.